Rio Grande Valley, Texas
The Rio Grande Valley has an estimated population of 1,368,723 as of 2020, with Hidalgo County having the largest population of 861,137. Cameron County has the second-highest population with an estimate of 422,135, followed by Starr County with an estimated population of 64,032 and Willacy County with an estimated population of 21,419. Based on a report by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2008, the Hispanic population in Cameron County was 86 percent, while Hidalgo County had 90 percent, Starr County had 97 percent, and Willacy County had 86 percent. Demographic changes have also impacted Rio Grande Valley, Texas Economy
|Population 5 years and older||384,007||759,143||56,972||20,442|
|Speaks English only||102,074||119,489||2,072||8,252|
|Language other than English||281,933||639,654||54,900||12,190|
|Other Indo-European Languages||1,302||2,126||3||155|
|Asian and Pacific Islander Languages||1,511||5,460||53||22|
The Rio Grande Valley has a number of major metropolitan areas that are surrounded by smaller rural communities known as colonias. These communities are primarily inhabited by poor and Hispanic people, and often lack basic services such as sanitation, sewage, and protection from flooding. Most of the colonias consist of a mix of mobile homes and self-constructed houses that are owned by the residents. The Bracero program, which was introduced in the 1940s, allowed Mexicans to come across the border and work in the agricultural fields of the Rio Grande Valley. As there was a shortage of affordable housing in the area at that time, developers began selling land to these workers in unincorporated areas. Over time, these clusters of homes evolved into what we now know as colonias.
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